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The 10 Best Body Lotions for Mature Skin That Hydrate, Firm and Smooth Skin Fast

Find the formula that's best for your skin type

Don’t discount the power of a good body lotion! Not only does it leave your skin feeling luxuriously soft and smooth, but it also boasts a surprising number of benefits. That’s why we tapped top dermatologists, Connecticut-based Mona Gohara, MD, and New York City-based Joshua Zeichner, MD, to cover what you need to know about all things body lotion. Plus, we’ll guide you through the process of picking the perfect lotion for your unique skin type, share application techniques and unveil the best body lotions on the market, catering to every budget. So, if you’re ready to ditch the alligator skin and get ready to glow from head to toe, read on.

The benefits of using body lotion

mature woman applying lotion to legs

From battling dryness, roughness and aging, our bodies go through it all. Dr. Gohara says that body lotion keeps the barrier strong, the skin supple and radiant, minimizes fine lines and potentially irritation too.

“Body lotions help improve skin hydration, roughness, flaking and even skin itching,” adds Dr. Zeichner. “Lotions are lighter in consistency than creams so they can easily be spread over large body surface areas.” And while you might have heard in the past that lotions are less moisturizing than creams, it’s a myth, notes Dr. Zeichner. “The latest technologies in cosmetic chemistry have brought to the market products that have light, spreadable textures with excellent hydrating and smoothing benefits.”

For more on why it’s important to moisturize, watch the below video from YouTuber and dermatologist Jenny Liu, MD.

Related: How to Get Rid of Textured Skin: What Women Over 50 Need to Know for Smoother, Youthful Skin

How to pick a body lotion

Those with sensitive skin should opt for a fragrance-free body lotion, while acne-prone individuals should opt for a non-comedogenic formula, says Dr. Gohara. “Those with dry skin should choose a cream instead of a lotion as it has more oil content,” she adds. 

Dr. Zeichner says to choose a lotion that addresses your personal preference and skin needs. If you don’t have sensitive skin, fragranced products can safely be used and add to the sensorial experience of applying your lotion, he says. “If you have conditions like eczema, look for skin protecting products that contain ingredients like colloidal oatmeal,” he notes. “For concerns like flaking, consider exfoliating ingredients like lactic acid. And for aging skin, consider lotions containing ingredients like retinol or antioxidants.”

Related: 8 Best Body Scrubs for Smooth + Soft Skin by the Time You Step Out of the Shower

The best way to apply body lotion

woman applying body lotion
Elena Noviello/Getty

There are many methods of applying body lotion — should you put it on after your shower while your skin is wet? After you towel it dry? While you’re still in the tub pre-toweling off? After your shower, using ambient humidity to lock in moisture, Dr. Gohara advises that you pat (but not rub) the skin dry with a towel and apply lotion for the best results.

Dr. Zeichner agrees saying,“I typically recommend applying body lotion after having the skin dry from a shower.” The reason why? It can help to lock in hydration for added benefits. He advises trying the connect the dot method, in which small dots of lotion are applied over a particular body part and then rubbed in. “Applying a large amount to one area is much more difficult to spread and results in using more product than necessary.”  

The 10 best body lotions

Here, we rounded up the best body lotions in each of the below categories, with input from Dr. Zeichner and Dr. Gohara.

Best drugstore body lotion

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin

Dr. Gohara praises this drugstore lotion option. For $13, you get a super-moisturizing pump lotion that can be used on the body or the face. And the fragrance-free formula makes it great for those with sensitive skin.

Best splurge body lotion

Naturopathica Manuka Honey Creamy Body Lotion

Naturopathica Manuka Honey Creamy Body Lotion

For a splurge-worthy lotion, look to this one from Naturopathica. We love it  because it smells divine and keeps even the driest os skin moisturized for a full 24 hours. Thanks goes to its hydrating manuka honey that also nourishes dry or irritated skin.

Best lotion for extreme dryness

Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion

Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion

This ultralight lotion easily rubs in without leaving the skin feeling sticky or greasy,” says Dr. Zeichner. “It combines skin repairing ceramides with natural moisturizing factors to attract hydration to the outer skin layer.”

Best in-shower body lotion

Hanni Splash Salve In-Shower Body Moisture Treatment

Hanni Splash Salve In-Shower Body Moisture Treatment

Many of us hate applying lotion after being wet from the shower, so getting it done while you’re washing up is a time saver that avoids that whole cold/wet scenario. This is billed as a deep conditioner for skin that’s used while you shower so you can just dry off and go.

Best spray-on body lotion

Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Ointment Body Spray

Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Ointment Body Spray

This ultra-easy spray-on option is, according to Dr. Zeichner, the category winner. “It delivers the best of both worlds, providing the benefits of an ointment in a spray delivery system,” he explains. “It provides a semi occlusive, breathable barrier to help repair any damage, the skin barrier and improve skin hydration.”

Best unscented body lotion

La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+ Triple Repair Moisturizing Lotion
La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+ Triple Repair Moisturizing Lotion

A clear winner for the category, this formulation is both Dr. Gohara and Dr. Zeichner’s choice for the best unscented body lotion. “Formulated with sensitive skin in mind, this lotion hydrates and soothes the skin,” says Dr. Zeichner. We like that it comes with a pump for easy application, even with wet hands. Even better? It’s safe to apply on the face as well, meaning you’ll need less products for your skin care routine.

Best scented body lotion

Tree Hut Hydrating Body Lotion
Tree Hut/Target

Tree Hut Hydrating Body Lotion

At just $9, this lotion boasts a luxe texture that melts into skin — plus, a beautifully wide variety of fragrances from subtle to more intense. Whether you like a feminine rose scent (as shown) or a more fruit-forward aroma, the brand has you covered.

Best firming body lotion

First Aid Beauty Sculpting Body Lotion
First Aid Beauty

First Aid Beauty Sculpting Body Lotion

Not all firming body creams are created equal — some on the market last a few hours before the effects wear off, but not this one. Dr. Gohara’s pick, is First Aid Beauty’s iteration that offers a blend of firming peptides along with caffeine and glycerin to reduce puffiness and firm, tighten and tone, respectively. Ceramides and colloidal oatmeal are also added to the mix to keep skin super moisturized so it looks healthy and radiant.

Best lightweight body lotion

Garnier Body Intensive 7 Day Replenishing Lotion

Garnier Body Intensive 7 Day Replenishing Lotion

Dr. Zeichner points to this options as his favorite lightweight body lotion — and it only takes a week to get your skin into much better shape when it comes to hydration and moisture. “This ultra-Iight lotion combines a blend of skin softening and hydrating ingredients, as well as L-bifidus extract to support a healthy microbiome.” It boasts a pretty, natural scent as well.

Best body lotion for sensitive skin

Aveeno Daily Moisturizer with Soothing Oats and Rich Emollients

Aveeno Daily Moisturizer with Soothing Oats and Rich Emollients

This is Dr. Gohara’s category favorite. Ideal for extra-dry skin, it locks in moisture and helps to improve your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Bonus: It’s fragrance-free and works well for all types of skin.

For more body care tips, click through these stories:

Dry Brushing Your Skin Fights Cellulite & Leaves You Glowing: How to Get the Perks

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